What does material mean?

Definitions for materialməˈtɪər i əl

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word material.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. material, stuff(noun)

    the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object

    "coal is a hard black material"; "wheat is the stuff they use to make bread"

  2. material(noun)

    information (data or ideas or observations) that can be used or reworked into a finished form

    "the archives provided rich material for a definitive biography"

  3. fabric, cloth, material, textile(noun)

    artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers

    "the fabric in the curtains was light and semitransparent"; "woven cloth originated in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC"; "she measured off enough material for a dress"

  4. material(noun)

    things needed for doing or making something

    "writing materials"; "useful teaching materials"

  5. material(adj)

    a person judged suitable for admission or employment

    "he was university material"; "she was vice-presidential material"

  6. material(adj)

    concerned with worldly rather than spiritual interests

    "material possessions"; "material wealth"; "material comforts"

  7. material(adj)

    derived from or composed of matter

    "the material universe"

  8. material(adj)

    directly relevant to a matter especially a law case

    "his support made a material difference"; "evidence material to the issue at hand"; "facts likely to influence the judgment are called material facts"; "a material witness"

  9. material(adj)

    concerned with or affecting physical as distinct from intellectual or psychological well-being

    "material needs"; "the moral and material welfare of all good citizens"- T.Roosevelt

  10. corporeal, material(adj)

    having material or physical form or substance

    "that which is created is of necessity corporeal and visible and tangible" - Benjamin Jowett

  11. substantial, real, material(adj)

    having substance or capable of being treated as fact; not imaginary

    "the substantial world"; "a mere dream, neither substantial nor practical"; "most ponderous and substantial things"- Shakespeare


  1. material(Noun)

    Matter which may be shaped or manipulated, particularly in making something.

    Asphalt, composed of oil and sand, is a widely used material for roads.

  2. material(Noun)

    Text written for a specific purpose.

    We were a warm-up act at the time; we didn't have enough original material to headline.

  3. material(Noun)

    A sample or specimens for study.

  4. material(Noun)

    Cloth to be made into a garment.

    You'll need about a yard of material to make this.

  5. material(Noun)

    A person who is qualified for a certain position or activity.

    Joe Manchin is a great governor, and I also believe he is presidential material.

  6. material(Adjective)

    Having to do with matter.

    This compound has a number of interesting material properties.

  7. material(Adjective)

    Worldly, as opposed to spiritual.

    Don't let material concerns get in the way of living a good life.

  8. material(Adjective)


  9. Origin: From material, from materialis, from materia "wood, material, substance" from mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Material(adj)

    consisting of matter; not spiritual; corporeal; physical; as, material substance or bodies

  2. Material(adj)

    hence: Pertaining to, or affecting, the physical nature of man, as distinguished from the mental or moral nature; relating to the bodily wants, interests, and comforts

  3. Material(adj)

    of solid or weighty character; not insubstantial; of cinsequence; not be dispensed with; important

  4. Material(adj)

    pertaining to the matter, as opposed to the form, of a thing. See Matter

  5. Material(noun)

    the substance or matter of which anything is made or may be made

  6. Material(verb)

    to form from matter; to materialize


  1. Material

    Material is anything made of matter, constituted of one or more substances. Wood, cement, hydrogen, air, water and any other matter are all examples of materials. Sometimes the term "material" is used more narrowly to refer to substances or components with certain physical properties that are used as inputs to production or manufacturing. In this sense, materials are the parts required to make something else, from buildings and art to airplanes and computers. Material is also used to refer to a group of ideas, facts, information or data, that may provide the basis for or are part of some piece of work.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Material

    ma-tē′ri-al, adj. consisting of matter: corporeal, not spiritual: substantial: essential: important, esp. of legal importance: (phil.) pertaining to matter and not to form, relating to the object as it exists.—n., esp. in pl., that out of which anything is to be made.—n. Materialisā′tion.—v.t. Matē′rialīse, to render material: to reduce to or regard as matter: to occupy with material interests.—ns. Matē′rialism, the doctrine that denies the independent existence of spirit, and maintains that there is but one substance—viz. matter—thus professing to find in matter (monistic or philosophical materialism), or in material entities (atomistic materialism), or in material qualities and forces (scientific or physical materialism), a complete explanation of all life and existence whatsoever; Matē′rialist, one who holds the doctrine of materialism: one absorbed in material interests, who takes a low view of life and its responsibilities.—adjs. Materialist′ic, -al, pertaining to materialism.—adv. Matē′rially.—ns. Matē′rialness, Material′ity.—Material being, existence in the form of matter; Material cause, that which gives being to the thing; Material distinction, a distinction between individuals of the same species; Material evidence, evidence tending to prove or to disprove the matter under judgment; Material fallacy, a fallacy in the matter or thought, rather than in the logical form; Material form, a form depending on matter; Material issue (see Issue).—Raw material, stuff as yet unworked into anything useful. [Fr.,—L. materialismateria.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'material' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #737

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'material' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1528

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'material' in Nouns Frequency: #185


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of material in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of material in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Ralph Waldo Emerson:

    Great men are they who see that the spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.

  2. Mo Elleithee:

    Out of that meeting we came home with these boxes that have been sitting in a back room at the Florida Democratic Party offices, that's just old Jeb Bush material. No one else has this material.

  3. Benjamin Hautecouverture:

    It is plausible that certain (terrorist) organisations could attack transports of nuclear material or civilian installations and try to steal radioactive material, there is a black market where such material is available coming from central and eastern Europe.

  4. Lao-Tzu:

    The good man is the teacher of the bad,
    And the bad is the material from which the good may learn.
    He who does not value the teacher,
    Or greatly care for the material,
    Is greatly deluded although he may be learned.
    Such is the essential mystery.

  5. Lana Wachowski:

    The summer is built around familiarity, many cultural critics who shape awareness for films are obsessed with sequels and derivative material. They wildly crave it. That kind of environment is hostile to originality. It only makes space for derivative material and rejects originality. I think Warner Bros. was uncomfortable with that environment.

Images & Illustrations of material

Translations for material

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مادةArabic
  • матэрыялBelarusian
  • материалBulgarian
  • materialCatalan, Valencian
  • materiálový, materiální, hmotný, materiálCzech
  • materiale, materiel, stofDanish
  • Material, materiell, Stoff, RohstoffGerman
  • υλικός, ύφασμα, καίριος, ουσιώδης, υλικόGreek
  • ŝtofo, materialoEsperanto
  • significativo, materialSpanish
  • مطلب, مادیPersian
  • merkittävä, materiaali, aineisto, raaka-aine, olennainenFinnish
  • matériau, matière, tissu, matériel, étoffeFrench
  • mianachIrish
  • adhbharScottish Gaelic
  • significativa, significativo, materialGalician
  • חומרHebrew
  • anyag, materiális, anyagiHungarian
  • materialeItalian
  • 題材, 人材, 資料, 生地, 物質, 素材, 布, 材料Japanese
  • 材料, 물질, 재료, 物質Korean
  • corporeus, verba scriptoris, materiaLatin
  • wereldlijk, grondstof, materiële, materiaal, wereldlijke, materieel, naaigoedDutch
  • stoff, materiell, materiale, tøyNorwegian
  • materiał, materialnyPolish
  • material, tecido, significativo, terreno, panoPortuguese
  • material, materială, stofă, pânză, materie, material textilRomanian
  • материал, важный, материальный, вещество, материя, тканьRussian
  • materijal, материјалSerbo-Croatian
  • material, materia, materiell, världsligSwedish
  • матеріалUkrainian
  • 物質, vật chấtVietnamese
  • stöfikVolapük

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